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The First European Plug and Play

Gridded Ion Engine Standardised Electric Propulsion Platform

Gridded Ion Engine Propulsion System

...to boost Europe’s competitiveness in the global satellite market.

Why Electric Propulsion?

Electric propulsion offers major improvements in over chemical propulsion systems.

Fuel Efficiency

Electric propulsion offers major improvements in fuel efficiency, enabling dramatic weight and volume savings which leads to significantly lower launch costs.

Higher Revenues for Operators

Due to the increase in payload that electric propulsion facilitates by its gain in weight and volume.

State-of-the-art

European gridded ion engine will give Europe the ability to not only compete but also take a lead in this growing worldwide market.

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Why Gridded ion engine?

Compared to the often-used conventional ion engines, like Hall-Effect-Thrusters, Gridded Ion Engines bring a couple of advantages.

Highest Efficiency

Where HET is ceiling at an ISP of about 1800s a GIE can easily be brought to specific impulses above 3000s and higher and have thus the highest efficiency in the medium power range.

Lowest Plume Divergence

Enabling both the outstanding efficiency of the propulsion system while reducing thruster-platform-interactions to a minimum a GIE´s plume divergence can attain less than 10°.

Capable and Adaptable Technology

By its very definition GIE allows a clear technical separation between ionisation on one hand and ion acceleration / thrust generation on the other. This not only helps to master the technology but also eases individual adaptation to customer specific operating requirements.

How it works?

Gridded ion thrusters are part of the electrostatic electric propulsion thrusters.

1st step – Ionisation

Ion thrusters employ a variety of plasma generation techniques to ionize a large fraction of the propellant, e.g. with radio frequency.

2nd step – Thrust Generation

The ionized fraction of the propellant is accelerated in an electrostatic field of the grid system and extracted out of the thruster to create thrust.

3rd step - Neutralization

To avoid any electrostatic effects, the extracted positive ions are submitted to a parallel flow of (negative) electrons so a neutralisation is attained almost immediately.

What does it look like?

The Most Efficient Propulsion System Explained from inside-out.

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Functions

FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions

Gridded ion thrusters are part of the electrostatic electric propulsion thrusters. The ion thruster generate thrust in two steps. In the first step ion thrusters employ a variety of plasma generation techniques to ionize a large fraction of the propellant. In the second step the ionized fraction of the propellant is accelerated in an electrostatic field of the grid system. The ion acceleration in a grid system is the common feature of all gridded ion engines. An ion thruster consists of basically three components: the plasma generator, the accelerator grids, and the neutralizer cathode.

A geostationary orbit, geostationary Earth orbit or geosynchronous equatorial orbit (GEO) is a circular orbit 35,786 kilometres above the Earth’s equator and following the direction of the Earth’s rotation. An object in such an orbit has an orbital period equal to the Earth’s rotational period (one sidereal day) and thus appears motionless, at a fixed position in the sky, to ground observers.

Gridded ion thrusters are part of the electrostatic electric propulsion thrusters. The ion thruster generates thrust in two steps. In the first step, ion thrusters employ a variety of plasma generation techniques to ionize a large fraction of the propellant. In the second step, the ionized fraction of the propellant is accelerated in an electrostatic field of the grid system. The ion acceleration in a grid system is the common feature of all gridded ion engines. An ion thruster consists of basically three components: the plasma generator, the accelerator grids, and the neutralizer cathode.

Low Earth orbit (LEO) is an orbit around Earth with an altitude between 160 kilometers, and 2,000 kilometers. Objects below approximately 160 kilometers will experience very rapid orbital decay and altitude loss.

Technology readiness levels (TRL) are a method of estimating technology maturity of Critical Technology Elements (CTE) of a program during the acquisition process. They are determined during a Technology Readiness Assessment (TRA) that examines program concepts, technology requirements, and demonstrated technology capabilities. TRL are based on a scale from 1 to 9 with 9 being the most mature technology.

Contact GIESEPP MP team

Fill the form to get in touch with a project communication manager who will forward your request or email to the competent person.

Consortium

The GIESEPP MP team is composed of 6 partners - space industry, university and SME.

GIESEPP MP team about the project

Our team is looking forward to approving the system with the key players in the community and proceeding to market with it.

Cyril Dietz
"With gridded ion engines we not only support the tremendous step in propulsion efficiency from chemical to electric propulsion. But furthermore we are about to realize a real green deal in space by enabling even large satellites to travel through space for 20+ years by emitting only the most minimum amount of harmless noble gas. GIESEPP – highest efficiency for every mission. "
Cyril Dietz
GIESEPP MP Project Coordinator
GIESEPP – the highest efficiency in every mission
“For 20 years I have been fascinated by the simplicity and efficiency of the RIT technology – and I still am”
Dr. Bernd Pfeiffer
Design lead of RIT10
and RIT2X thruster family
Photo_JTorres
“We are thrilled to develop the next generation of PPUs that will propel our industry into the future”
Javier Torres
The technical manager for the PPU
of GIESEPP-MP
Guna Valtere
"As an SEM we are very excited to be a part of the consortium and this project. Our aim is to acquire new knowledge and experience through the collaboration with very experienced and reputed organisations."
Guna Valtere
WIT Berry, Communication
maneger assistance
Holste, Kristof
“JLU's contribution to the project represents a nice overlap between experimental and theoretical approaches. The interplay of both will help to further develop existing propulsion technologies successfully.”
Dr. Kristof Holste
Justus-Liebig University of Giessen,
Senior Scientist, PhD,
laboratory management

Latest Posts

Read the latest updates and news about the project progress.

Gridded Ion Engine Propulsion System to boost Europe’s competitiveness in the global satellite market

To foster Europe’s competitiveness in the global satellite market, the first European Plug and Play Gridded Ion Engine Standardised Electric Propulsion Platform (GIESEPP).
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The Justus-Liebig University of Giessen

The Justus-Liebig University of Giessen was founded in 1607 by landgrave Louis V of Hesse Darmstadt. University’s teaching and research portfolio is organised in 11 faculties.
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